Fatal Racing 3DFX - Weird Refresh Rate?

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Fatal Racing 3DFX - Weird Refresh Rate?

Postby CapnCrunch53 » 2017-1-25 @ 02:25

I wanted to play Fatal Racing on my Diamond Monster 3D 4MB, and I have the unofficial 3DFX patch for it. Every time I launched fatfx.exe, it would show the 3DFX splash screen, then a black screen on the demo video. Then it would show the main menu, and if I start a race, I'd get a black screen again, with the audio still working.

I was using the IBM CRT monitor that came with an Aptiva. After making sure my Voodoo worked in other games, I decided on a whim to try it with my 17" Dell 5:4 LCD (I believe it's an E173FP), and it worked! The info screen shows 640x480 at 62hz in the game. Other games using the Voodoo run at 60hz.

Why does the game run at 62hz, and why doesn't my CRT seem to like it? The monitor supposedly displays 640x480 at up to 85hz: https://www.cnet.com/products/ibm-c50-c ... -15/specs/ This isn't a pressing issue, I'm just curious more than anything!
PCs, Macs, old and new... too much stuff.
User avatar
CapnCrunch53
Member
 
Posts: 196
Joined: 2012-1-31 @ 02:02
Location: Indiana

Re: Fatal Racing 3DFX - Weird Refresh Rate?

Postby bjt » 2017-1-25 @ 11:46

I believe Fatal Racing actually uses 512x384, hence the different refresh. Maybe your LCD isn't reporting the res correctly (common for resolutions <640x480).
You should be able to tweak the refresh via environment variable. Check your autoexec.bat for the batch file that sets the glide env vars.
User avatar
bjt
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1435
Joined: 2013-2-06 @ 10:40
Location: UK

Re: Fatal Racing 3DFX - Weird Refresh Rate?

Postby vetz » 2017-1-25 @ 14:06

It uses 640x400, but it's rendered in 640x480 with black bars. I didn't have any problem with capturing this game for my comparison video. Have you tried using the enviroment variables for Glide in DOS to set the refresh rate?
User avatar
vetz
Hardware Mod
 
Posts: 3283
Joined: 2012-4-23 @ 17:13

Re: Fatal Racing 3DFX - Weird Refresh Rate?

Postby CapnCrunch53 » 2017-1-25 @ 14:54

I see. Didn't know about the environment variables, but found a list of them online. I assume SST_SCREENREFRESH = 60 is what I would want.

I'll try it tonight. Thanks!
PCs, Macs, old and new... too much stuff.
User avatar
CapnCrunch53
Member
 
Posts: 196
Joined: 2012-1-31 @ 02:02
Location: Indiana

Re: Fatal Racing 3DFX - Weird Refresh Rate?

Postby CapnCrunch53 » 2017-1-25 @ 23:48

Ok, so I've tried setting the refresh rate using SST_SCREENREFRESH. I've confirmed I'm doing it right by testing it on the LCD and seeing that it definitely did change the rate. I've tried setting it to 58, 59, 60, 73, 75, and 85, and my CRT does not like any of them. I wonder if it doesn't like something about the resolution of the game?

The only other oddity is that the LCD always seems to show the refresh rate as 2hz higher than the setting (62hz when set to 60, 77hz when set to 75), which is why I tried 58, 59, and 73 as well. Might just not be reporting it right though.
PCs, Macs, old and new... too much stuff.
User avatar
CapnCrunch53
Member
 
Posts: 196
Joined: 2012-1-31 @ 02:02
Location: Indiana

Re: Fatal Racing 3DFX - Weird Refresh Rate?

Postby CapnCrunch53 » 2017-1-26 @ 00:16

I used the SST_SCREENREZ variable and I now get picture on the CRT! I'm not sure what the syntax for that variable is supposed to be though; none of the google results give details. Is it =640x480? Setting it to =640 and =640x480 both seem to work for me.

Only issue is that it pushes the image off to the right side of the screen so I have to compensate with monitor settings, but that's no big deal, and the software-rendered mode actually does this too.

Anyone know the correct syntax for that variable? And while we're at it, any other variables that are useful/recommended to set? SST_GRXCLK is the obvious interesting one :D
PCs, Macs, old and new... too much stuff.
User avatar
CapnCrunch53
Member
 
Posts: 196
Joined: 2012-1-31 @ 02:02
Location: Indiana


Return to Software

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest